Principled Advocacy For Families And Individuals With Disabilities And The Professionals Who Serve Them

Joseph T. Monahan

  • Founding Partner
Joseph T. Monahan

Biography

Joseph T. Monahan is the founder of Monahan Law Group, LLC and one of the preeminent mental health law attorneys in Illinois. Under Mr. Monahan's direction, Monahan Law Group, LLC provides legal services to over 80 hospitals and numerous mental health clinics, child welfare agencies, and social service agencies. In addition to professional clients, the firm also represents individuals at all levels of administrative and judicial proceedings.

Mr. Monahan has tried countless guardianship, mental health, and child welfare cases over the past 32 years. From confidentiality of mental health records to same-sex adoption, Mr. Monahan has successfully argued cases at every level of the Illinois court system, including the Illinois Supreme Court. He is regularly appointed by the court to represent persons with disabilities in complex or extraordinary mental health cases. His background as a social worker makes him acutely aware of the legal issues that impact social service professionals and the people they serve. He currently serves as President of the Board of Directors of the NASW Risk Retention Group, the malpractice insurance company for social workers, and has been an active member of NASW for many years.

Mr. Monahan has been an engaging member of the legal community throughout his career and has played an integral role in developing important policies and legislation to assist individuals with disabilities and those involved in their care. As a recognized leader in his field, he is frequently invited to teach courses and provide trainings to law students, attorneys, medical and mental health professionals, and family members.

Mr. Monahan is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Law at Loyola University Chicago School of Law, where he has taught mental health law for over 27 years. He has also taught at Northwestern University School of Law. Mr. Monahan has repeatedly served as Chair of the Illinois State Bar Association Mental Health Law Section Council and has been appointed to numerous other leadership positions in state and local not-for-profit groups throughout his longstanding career.

Mr. Monahan is a steadfast advocate for persons with disabilities, their families, and the professionals who serve them. He cares deeply about each of his clients and strives to represent them with principled advocacy and practical legal advice.

Practice Areas

  • Guardianship
  • Adoption
  • Child Welfare/Juvenile Law
  • Community Based Services
  • Elder Law
  • Health Care Law
  • Litigation & Appeals
  • Mental Health & Confidentiality Law
  • Probate & Estate Administration
  • Risk Management
  • Special Needs Planning
  • Trusts
  • Wills

Education

  • DePaul University College of Law, Chicago, Illinois
    • Juris Doctor
  • University of Illinois, Champaign, Illinois
    • Master's of Social Work
  • University of Illinois, Champaign, Illinois
    • Bachelor of Arts
    • Major: Social Work

Bar Admission

  • Illinois
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois Trial Bar
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court Central District of Illinois
  • Supreme Court of the United States of America

Published Works

  • Author, §§ 28:7 to 28:27, Chapter 28, Mental Health Issues, Law of Medical Practice in Illinois, 3rd, Vol. 22 (Illinois Practice Series), 2008
  • Author, Elder Abuse: Legal Definitions and Mandatory Reporting of Elder Abuse, Social Work Networker published by the NASW Illinois Chapter, May 1, 2009
  • Author, Legal Issues Affecting Elderly Clients - Medicare and Medicaid for the Elderly, Social Work Networker published by the NASW Illinois Chapter, October 1, 2009
  • Author, Legal Issues Affecting Elderly Clients - Incompetent Elderly Clients: Powers of Attorney and Guardianship , Social Work Networker published by the NASW Illinois Chapter, August 1, 2009
  • Author, Life Sustaining Treatment and the Law: The Evolution of Informed Consent, Advance Directives and Surrogate Decision Making, Beazley Institute for Health Law and Policy Annals of Health Law, Vol. 19, Issue 1, Special Edition, 2010, 107-113
  • Author, Powers and Duties of a Guardian of the Person: Guardianship for Disabled Adults, Advance Directives, and Mental Health Law, Chapter 3, IICLE, 2011
  • Author, §§ 28:7 to 28:27, Chapter 28, Mental Health Issues, Law of Medical Practice in Illinois, 3rd, Vol. 22 (Illinois Practice Series), 2014 and 2015 Supplement

Honors

  • Selected to Super Lawyers, 2005-2021
  • Selected to Leading Lawyers, 2008-2019
  • Most Valuable Volunteer of the Year Award, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, 2013

Classes & Seminars

  • Adjunct Associate Professor of Law, Child Mental Health Law Course, Loyola University Chicago School of Law, Child Law, Chicago, Illinois, 2012 to Present
  • Adjunct Professor of Law, Psychiatry and Law Course, Northwestern University School of Law, Chicago, Illinois, 2002 to 2004
  • Adjunct Associate Professor of Law, Mental Health Law Course, Loyola University Chicago School of Law, Health Care Institute, Chicago, Illinois, 1993 to Present
  • Presenter, Illinois Elder Law, PESI, Inc., 01/28/2016 to 01/29/2016
  • Presenter, HIPAA and Confidentiality, National Alliance on Mental Illness, January 17, 2016
  • Presented, I Received a Subpoena; What Should I Do?, National Association of Social Workers - Webinar, November 17, 2015
  • Presented, Capacity and Guardianship, IICLE 11th Annual Elder Law Program, 11/12/2015 to 11/13/2015
  • Presented, Risk Management Training, National Association of Social Workers, October 19, 2015
  • Presented, Juvenile Court Training for Foster Parents, Hephzibah, October 9, 2015
  • Presented, CLE Training, Illinois School Social Work Supervisors and Coordinators Counsel, October 2, 2015
  • Presented, Illinois Mental Health and the Law, PESI, 09/24/2015 to 09/25/2015
  • Presented, Internal Training, Waukegan School District Social Workers, June 3, 2015
  • Presented, Internal Training, Association of Police Social Workers, May 8, 2015
  • Presented, Elder Law, American Hospital Association, April 23, 2015
  • Presented, Confidentiality and Representing Persons Alleged to have a Diagnosed Mental Illness, ISBA, April 10, 2015
  • Guest Lecturer, End of Life Decision-Making, The John Marshall Law School, April 3, 2015
  • Presented, FOID, The Carle Foundation - Webinar, March 26, 2015
  • Presented, Medical School for Elder Law Attorneys: Geriatric Psychiatry, IICLE, February 20, 2015
  • Presented, Internal Training, Local Social Service Agency, February 4, 2015
  • Presented, Adult Protective Services/Remedies and Nursing Home Resident’s Rights, Health Ed/PESI Illinois Elder Law 2015, 01/22/2015 to 01/23/2015
  • Presented, CLE Social Workers, Local VA Hospital, January 21, 2015
  • Presented, The Business of Social Work, NASW – Illinois Chapter, November 14, 2014
  • Presented, Mental Health Law, IICLE - 10th Annual Elder Law Short Course, November 6, 2014
  • Presented, Illinois Mental Health and the Law, PESI, 10/30/2014 to 10/31/2014
  • Presented, Different Perspectives in Adult Guardianships, Equip for Equality Legal Aid Advocates Conference, October 16, 2014
  • Presented, FOID Mental Health Reporting, National Association of Social Workers (NASW), August 14, 2014
  • Presented, Guardianship: Persons with a Mental Illness, National Alliance On Mental Illness (NAMI), April 13, 2014
  • Presented, Changes in Confidentiality of Mental Health Records, DePaul Law Review Symposium, March 21, 2014
  • Presented, Ethics and Mental Health, Child Welfare Agency, February 11, 2014
  • Presented, Adult Protective Services/Remedies and Nursing Home Resident’s Rights , Health Ed/PESI Illinois Elder Law 2014, January 17, 2014
  • Presented, Adult Protective Services and Nursing Home Resident Rights and Informed Consent, Substitute Decision Making and Advance Directives, SSWLCH - Illinois Chapter, January 2014
  • Presented, Practical and Legal Options for Persons Diagnosed with Mental Illness, HEALTH ED/PESI Illinois Elder Law, September 26, 2013
  • Presented, Illinois Children's Mental Health and the Law, HEALTH ED/Illinois Juvenile Law, January 25, 2013
  • Presented, Illinois Mental Health and the Law, PESI/HealthEd, 2013 to 2014
  • Presented, Citations to Discover and Recover Assets, Elder Law Practice in the Circuit Court of Cook County: The New Elder Law and Miscellaneous Remedies Division of the Circuit Court, Judge Banks Seminar, March 23, 2012
  • Presented, Elder Abuse/Remedies and Nursing Home Resident's Rights, HEALTH ED Illinois Elder Law, January 27, 2012
  • Presented, Elder Abuse/Remedies and Nursing Home Resident's Rights, HEALTH ED Illinois Elder Law, September 23, 2011
  • Presented, Who Is Your Client?, Illinois Legal Aid Conference, 2011
  • Presented, Guardianship and Advance Directives: The Law of Surrogate Decision Making in Illinois, NASW Illinois Virtual Symposium on Ethics, September 14, 201O
  • Presented, The Limitations of a Legal Guardian: Immigrants and John Doe Cases, National Guardianship Association National Colloquium on Guardianship, April 23, 2010
  • Presented, Elder Abuse/Remedies and Nursing Home Resident's Rights, HEALTH ED Illinois Law, February 12, 2010
  • Presented, The Law of Surrogate Decision Making in Illinois, NASW Statewide Conference, September 11, 2009
  • Presented, Social Worker Ethics Seminar, Lake Forest Hospital, August 12, 2009
  • Presented, Child and Elder Abuse Reporting, Resurrection Health Care, April 22, 2009
  • Presented, Healthcare Risk Management, Chicagoland Healthcare Risk Management Society's (CHRMS) Law Day Program, November 7, 2008
  • Presented, Legal Issues and the Elderly, Benedictine University, 2000 to 2014

Pro-Bono Activities

  • Foundation for Human Development, Secretary since 2012
  • Chicago Volunteer Legal Society (CVLS), Volunteer Attorney since 2010
  • Guardian Ad Litem, Probate Court for the past 20 years

Past Positions

  • State of Illinois, Guardianship and Advocacy Commission, Legal Advocacy Service, Staff Attorney
  • State of Illinois, Guardianship and Advocacy Commission, Legal Advocacy Service, Legal Assistant
  • Illinois State Board of Education, Chicago, Illinois, Hearing Officer
  • County-wide Child Welfare Agency, LaSalle County Youth Service Bureau, Chief Executive Officer

Professional Associations

  • The Chicago Bar Association, Mental Health Law Committee, Member, 1984 to Present
  • The Chicago Bar Association, Mental Health Law Committee, Chairperson, 1990
  • The Chicago Bar Association, Mental Health Law Committee, Vice-Chairperson, 1988 to 1989
  • Illinois State Bar Association, Mental Health Law Committee, Member, 1997 to Present
  • Illinois State Bar Association, Chair, 2006 to 2008
  • Illinois State Bar Association, Secretary, 2005 to 2006
  • Illinois State Bar Association, Vice-Chair, 2006 to 2007
  • Illinois State Bar Association, Chair, 2001 to 2002
  • Illinois State Bar Association, Vice-Chair, 2000 to 2001
  • Illinois State Bar Association, Secretary, 1999 to 2000
  • Illinois State Bar Association, Legislative Task Force, Created by SR 373, Member, 2002 to 2003
  • Board of Directors, Member Executive Committee, Chair Personnel Committee, Legal Defense Fund, 2009 to 2012
  • Chair, Legal Defense Fund, 2007 to 2008
  • Trustee, Legal Defense Fund, 2003 to 2007
  • Ignatius Chicago Crew, Member, Board of Directors, 2006 to 2009
  • Foundation for Human Development, Board of Directors
  • Illinois Coalition Against the Death Penalty, Board Member, 2000 to 2004
  • Guardianship Reform Project, Equip for Equality, 1999 to 2001
  • National Association of Downs Syndrome (NADS), Member, Board of Directors, 1998 to 1999
  • National Association of Social Workers (NASW), Illinois Chapter, Ad-Hoc Committee to Rewrite Social Work Practice Act, 1994 to 1995
  • National Association of Social Workers, Member, 1991 to Present
  • National Association of Social Workers, Member, 1976 to 1984
  • National Association of Social Workers (NASW), Illinois Chapter, Member, 1976 to Present
  • School Board, Pope John XXIII, Member, 1994 to 2000
  • ACWS, Member, 1991 to Present
  • ACWS, Member, 1976 to 1984
  • Seguin Services, Human Rights Committee, Member, 1992 to 1996
  • Seguin Services, Human Rights Committee, Member, 1987 to 1990
  • Harris enCircle, Harris Bank, Chicago, Illinois, Advisory Board Member, 2008 to Present